Working From Home? Six Easy Steps to Get Started with Remote Access
Now that the entire world is practicing social distancing, working from home has gone from a luxury to a necessity. Companies across the globe have taken the leap to empower their workforce to work from home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Now that your team is working from home, it can be quite confusing to give them access to important documents and networks that are located within the office. This post should shed some light on how it can be done because let’s be honest, remote accessing a device (or network) can be hard.
First things first, Dynamic DNS is the “thing” that solves the issues surrounding Remote Access, but it is often viewed as a complicated process that someone can easily get confused by. Remote access is very common these days. People use it to connect to their home network while away, remote into an office network or computer, view an IP camera while they are on vacation to make sure their house is safe, or even monitor an elderly relative who would like to still enjoy the freedom of living alone.
The most common devices that people remote access are computers, webcams, networks, NAS (Network Attached Storage), DVRs, music libraries, thermostats, or any device that has remote access capabilities.
Follow These 6 Easy Steps to Access your Device from Outside Your Network.
1. First, create your No-IP Dynamic DNS hostname. You can even register/transfer a domain and use our Plus Managed DNS to create a hostname on your very own personalized domain. (i.e. home.yourname.com and officecamyourbusiness.com) If you are a business trying to set up access for many users across your company, you will want to choose Enhanced Dynamic DNS. It will give you the ability to create 25 or more hostnames.
You can do this by creating a new No-IP account. If you already have a No-IP account, log in and go to the Dynamic DNS tab on the left-hand side. Click “Create Hostname.” Type in your desired hostname and choose a domain. Leave all of the settings as is and click “Create Hostname” to save.
2. If you have a Dynamic IP address, (A Dynamic IP Address is one that does NOT stay the same. It could change hourly, daily, or once a twice a year. if you aren’t sure, you probably have one. Another good indicator that you have a Dynamic IP is that if you aren’t paying your ISP for a static IP, your IP is dynamic) You will need to run our Dynamic Update Client (DUC) on your computer to keep your hostname updated with your current IP address.
You can also check to see if your Router or Device includes No-IP as an Integrated DDNS provider. This will make things a bit easier for you. If your router or device supports us, you won’t need our DUC and you can simply enter your No-IP hostname into your device and it will update your hostname with the correct IP address when it changes.
3. Configure the device or service on your local network you want to forward traffic to with either a static IP address or a static DHCP lease. You can do this by going into the admin settings of your router and going to “DHCP Reservation”. You will want to do this so that your device can always be found by the same IP address on the network.
4. Test the device from your LAN. You will have to use the internal IP address 192.168.1.xxx:8080 to test this in your browser.
5. Next, in order to access the device from outside your network, you will need to configure your router to let the traffic through to your device. This is called Port Forwarding. If you are unsure how to forward the ports on your router, you can check out PortForward.com. Please note that Portforward.com is a tricky site to navigate. You DO NOT need to pay for the guides.
Also, if you are unsure about which ports to open, check out this list of the most common ports and their uses.
If you are using a browser and a port other than port 80, you will need to append the port to your hostname, so yourname.ddns.net8080. This often solves many problems and is a step that most people don’t realize they have to do. You can also use our port 80 redirect host type, which will send your hostname to the port you provide us, however, this is designed for web browsers only and won’t work correctly for applications or games.
**If your ISP blocks port 80, you will need to use a different port. You will then need to use the Port 80 Redirect feature (turn this on via modifying hosts) this will let the traffic go through on port 8080. You will not need to append the port to the end of your hostname.**
6. Lastly, test your port connection from outside your network. You can do this by visiting portchecktool.com. Type the port in that you just forwarded. It will tell you if the port is open and accessible from outside your internal network.
Remember, opening and forwarding ports on a router effectively expose your internal network to the outside world. You should only open the ports that are needed to get your devices to work and always make sure your computers have all the latest patches and security updates applied in order to minimize the possibility of someone compromising your network.
If you find that your device is accessible from within your network, but not from outside, it is probably a port forwarding issue. Our suggestion to you would be to redo that section. If it is still not working, open a Support Ticket and we will try to troubleshoot the issue.
Have you set up your own Remote Access to your network? What kind of device did you configure and why? How much money has our Dynamic DNS saved you over the years, compared to using an insecure cloud solution?
Have any questions or comments? Leave them below. Having trouble getting your device and network configured? Give us a call or open a support ticket.